HEERF II and III Grant Program Distribution

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was approved by Congress and includes support for higher education, including emergency grants for students facing expenses due to COVID-19.

In December 2020, Congress enacted the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, providing additional support to students. In March 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, including a third round of emergency aid for students.

How Federal Grant Funds Are Disbursed

Grand Canyon University plans to distribute funds received under these programs to students in early 2022. The distribution will be made to students facing exceptional need. Update: GCU distributed funds received under these programs to students in February 2022.

  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has determined that all undergraduate, graduate and professional students are eligible to be considered for this award. GCU students who were actively enrolled and not academically dismissed between Jan. 1, 2021 and Oct. 31, 2021 will be considered for the award. Because the award must be based on exceptional financial need, we require that a FAFSA be filled out and on file by all FAFSA-eligible students. GCU will use the official Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) to determine financial need. The EFC must be in the range for Federal Pell Grant eligibility; EFC of $5,846 or lower for the 2021-22 FASFA or $5,711 or lower for the 2020-21 FAFSA. GCU will use the most recent FAFSA on file.

  • ED has stated that international, undocumented and non-U.S. citizen students may also be eligible to receive these grant funds, therefore, we have designed an alternative process to determine financial need for those who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA. Noncitizens must also have been living in the U.S. during that same eligibility period.
  • The HEERF grants are designed to support student expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These expenses may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses. Funds will not be automatically applied to any balance you have on your student account. Grant funds received are not taxable.
  • HEERF II and III grants will be provided to all students who meet the ED and GCU eligibility criteria. The total combined aid available for GCU students is $28,854,795. GCU has determined that the most equitable way to disburse these grant funds to our students is to divide our total allocation by the estimated number of eligible students based on the criteria above. Until the deadline for receiving FAFSA data for this grant has passed, we cannot finalize the amount per student.

  • At this time, it is estimated that approximately 80,000 to 100,000 students may be eligible. The final amount of distribution is estimated to be between $250-$300 per student, depending on how many meet the eligibility criteria by the deadline of Jan. 7, 2022.
  • Final award amounts will be determined in January 2022 with checks mailed to eligible students beginning in late January 2022. Checks will be mailed to students' addresses on file. Please take this opportunity to review your address on file in your student portal and make any updates necessary prior to Jan. 7, 2022.
  • For eligible students with a 2020-21 or 2021-22 FAFSA on file with the university, it is not necessary to apply.

  • Grants will be awarded based on need using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the most recent FAFSA on file.
    • To be awarded this grant, the EFC must be in the range for Federal Pell Grant eligibility; EFC of $5,846 or lower for the 2021-22 FASFA or $5,711 or lower for the 2020-21 FAFSA. GCU will use the most recent FAFSA on file.

  • If you filed a FAFSA but you did not have an EFC calculated or your FAFSA was rejected, you will need to correct the 2021-22 FAFSA data to resolve the conflict. If you filed only a 2020-21 FAFSA and no EFC was calculated, you will need to file a 2021-22 FAFSA.

  • For students who have not completed a 2020-21 or 2021-22 FAFSA:
    • If you are eligible to complete a FAFSA, there is still time to file a 2021-22 FASFA. The results with an official EFC must be received by GCU by Jan. 7, 2022. To complete this action, visit studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
    • You are eligible to complete the FAFSA if any of these apply to you:
      1. You have a Social Security Number
      2. You have an ITIN
      3. You have an Alien Registration Number
      4. You are a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
      5. You have a Work Permit for the U.S.

  • If you are not eligible to complete a FAFSA, please see the instructions below for an alternative application.
    • Step 1: Go to the EFC Estimator Tool studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/ and click the “Start” button.
    • Step 2: Determine EFC eligibility. If the EFC is at or above $5,847, you are not eligible.
    • Step 3: If EFC is under $5,847, download and save the EFC Summary.
    • Step 4: Upload the EFC Summary in your Student Portal under the HEERF Alternative EFC link prior to Jan. 7, 2022.
  • All award determinations have been made. During February 2022, all checks were issued. They were either mailed or were made available for pick up, for those who live on campus. Sign into your student portal and review your ledger. The $380 checks are listed with a description of: Refund – Student (HEERF Grant). If a HEERF Grant check is reflected in the ledger and you have not received it, first check your address on file. Then contact your student services counselor (SSC).
  • If you believe you are eligible and have not received a check, please first review the eligibility criteria in the Who is eligible? section above. The eligibly criteria were required to have been met by Jan. 7, 2022. Contact your SSC if you believe you met the criteria but have not received an award.

All FAFSAs and corrections, as well as the alternative application, must be submitted no later than Jan. 7, 2022. There will be no exceptions to this deadline.